Key! and Upto₩n Boy Band


Photo Credit: Sarah Llewelyn

Atlanta rapper Key! hit up StudioBar on June 16. You’ve probably heard Key! on OG Maco’s banger ‘U Guessed It’. Self-styled as ‘Fatman Key’, the 26-year-old has a gravitas and self-awareness that belies his age. He comes on the cusp of a new generation of rappers. Broaching subjects like mental illness and difficult pasts; he has no problems standing apart in the crowd.

What the Future Holds for Key!

As Key! gains popularity among the new guard of hiphop, he has refused to curry favor with the mainstream industry. It’s gained him admirers, and it’s clear he doesn’t take himself too seriously. By his second song he shared the stage with a crush of opening acts, which included ACV, Upto₩n Boyband, Deadboyye Dre and Johnny Darko.


Photo Credit: Sarah Llewelyn

Among the opening acts was Upto₩n Boy Band. There’s three boys in this band, but just don’t call them N’Sync wannabes. Justin Trash, Joe Rascal, and Roclee are a cohort of rappers whose style runs the gamut. They’re out of hand onstage, spitting lines in English and Korean.

“Sammy (Roclee) and I met in high school. He went to Korea and learned production from G2’s people. When he came back to Toronto we recorded ‘Summer Man’ together. These days Kpop is huge, and they’re all boy bands. We’re the opposite of that. The name is satire,” says Joe.

Justin rounds out the trio.  He circled back to Toronto after living in the US for a spell. “I met (Roc and Joe) through a mutual friend. We clicked and wanted to do Uptown together. We’re not trying to be Kpop level, but we’ll get that Kpop money though,” he adds.


0V4A2658Photo Credit: Sarah Llewelyn


Photo Credit: Sarah Llewelyn


Photo Credit: Sarah Llewelyn

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